Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

Archive for July, 2017

Read any good books this summer? Special birthday wishes to Miss Yuki Kashiwagi of AKB/NGT48.

Of course I keep up with my summer reading! I am so happy that my favorite AKB48 member has made this useful reference manual to help me at my office. Even though I am very dedicated to work, and cannot blog very often these days, I am not too busy to wish my oshi a HAPPY 26TH BIRTHDAY! Please enjoy one of my favorite Yukirin moments from her solo tour last year.

(Denny sighs, swoons) … she’s my favorite niece … but I am pretty sure that she will announce her graduation from AKB this year. Alas, it is probably time for the dear young lady to move on. Yukirin may be near the end of her AKB48 career, but I am sure she will continue as a solo singer, actress and media personality.

I want to pay tribute to Yukirin History here. This is an old AKB sketch where Yuki played an old kendo master –as a man!  Note the Kashiwagi beard and mustache. There is a funny moment at about time 3:00 where her “assistant” is supposed to strike her on the head. Their timing was actually off, because Yuki really does get hit hard on the head. Ha. Watch her reaction.

Oh, Yuki, you are a real trouper!

Starlight: Yuki Kashiwagi – born July 15, 1991

See more of Miss Yuki Kashiwagi on my Pinterest board linked here.

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Growing up with Tsuri Bit: A thousand days of happiness.

Thanks for the photo, girls. Please make it out to “Uncle Denny” and write: “Thank you for all your kind advice and aged wisdom!”

A teenage girl can do a lot of growing up in 1000 days. They can make the journey from awkward teen to sophisticated young woman. About three years ago (a thousand days ago?), I discovered the Japanese Idol group Tsuri Bit. The name loosely translates as “fishing lure”. No, not “bait” mind you! (Denny looks at reader sternly.) The first music video of theirs I watched was “Odoroyo Fish” (踊ろよ、フィッシュ “Odoroyo Fisshu” or “Let’s Dance Fish” ) This fun song was a hit for Japanese singer Tatsurō Yamashita in 1987. The Tsuri Bit girls update it – and “idol” it up. They capture the spirit of the song.  They retain the original’s warmth, charm and FUN! They make it their own. Lyrics are linked here. Please SING with me!

I always wanted to be an Ichthyologist!

This might be one of the the cutest Idol videos I have ever seen — certainly the girls could not be any cuter. I used to play this one on my iphone in the grocery store. You should have seen me there in Produce, through the Dairy and Seafood isles — headphones on — movin’ and grovin’.. Imagine me spinning my cart around almost like I was dancing with it! I was trying to just  hum quietly to myself, but I probably let out a few audible sounds  … Odoroyo FISH! … O-do-ro-yo BAY-BEE … Ha. The other shoppers would think I was crazy if anyone would notice. The song starts about 59 seconds into this YT linked video from 2014. Enjoy in 1080 HD.

From there you can find links to many of their videos. KISSPOINT Records has recovered from that “Ban in America” thing. Here is an idol group you can enjoy. Tsuri Bit’s shtick is that they are the “Fishing Idols”. They have made several songs and videos about going fishing. In fact, Tsuri Bit has meet-and-greet events with fans that are FISHING TRIPS! If AKB48 are “the idols you can meet” then Tsuri Bit are “the idols you can go fishing with“!

“Scales of Clouds and Orion”

I can relate a lot to this next music video, even though I was not liking the actual song all that much at first. Sometimes with music videos I like the song but not the video, or vice versa. The Tsuri Bit girls must have been thinking about me in this next video from 2015. This early 2015 MV is about a sad “Salaryman” who is stuck in a dead-end job that he hates — just like me! He is berated by bosses — just like me!  He is not respected by coworkers or clients — just like me!.  He is behind on the technology and frustrated, he’s slow and fat and … just … like … uh … heh … heh ….. oh. (Denny slumps) Dang, this guy even LOOKS like me.

He might have to work for A-holes, but Tsuri Bit believe in him.

The good news that the Tsuri Bit girls are there wearing cute cheerleader outfits.  (I wonder though if they are there only in his imagination.) The girls remind him of all things that are good in this world. The things worth fighting for!  They cheer him up, he gets motivated, goes back to his job, applies that fat ass to work … and he succeeds! All it took was the cuteness and encouragement of his favorite idols. Tsuri Bit are so wholesome and good, it is like they have magical girl powers. The song itself?  Well, it had to grow on me — but look how much the girls have grown.

This next one is my FAVORITE Tsuri Bit music video. I LOVE this power-pop song.  Here they are in late 2015, perfecting their idol moves on the beach.

Several months later, the girls are on a beach vacation again. This next MV reminds me of the Beatles’ movie “Help” where the fab four all live together in the same house. There is an amusing part near the start of this video where the girls are sorting through their beachwear. They are trying to gauge which swimsuit top belongs to whom.  Since the last video, it looks like Mizuki (the 19 year old) grew some BOOBIES! Somebody needs a bigger suit. The sweet little fish-scientists have a lot of fun singing, dancing and just idol-ing on the beach.

I know what you are thinking: “Denny, you are a dirty old man.”

To that I say “OH YEAH … well is that YOUR NOSE, or are you eating a TOMATO?” Then I would start throwing punches.  Uh .. Ok … er ..  maybe I should take the high road and try to explain. The Japanese Idol culture/subculture is a very difficult concept for outsiders to grock.

Idol culture offends many (stupid, American) women because Japanese Idols start out so young — and that their audience includes many middle-aged businessmen. Despite what the hags think, the middle aged fans are NOT perverts. Look, an idol show is pure entertainment. Just like that Salaryman in the video above —  Japanese men have to work many long hours for relatively pay. Being a fan, and/or going to an idol show is pure escapism. It is fun to support and cheer for your favorite idols.

That is how wota feel about their Idols. When idoling is done correctly, it becomes pure happiness. Happiness which transcends age, ethnicity and gender.  They remind us that there really can be something pure in this harsh universe … like at my work.

Older male fans are cheering the girls on, not lusting after them — Jesus.  Look, if all someone wanted to do was “look at young girls” then there would be a lot of other ways to do that.  Dirty old men, are not buying singing-and-dancing DVDs. Wota LOVE our idols because they bring HAPPINESS with their presence. There may be some perverts among the fans, but they are not the norm. Just like the pundits on the CHH news channel who are always saying that “not ALL Syrian refugees are psychotic terrorists and rapists.” Well … and … OK, maybe that’s not a very good example.

I once had an Internet feud with an anti-AKB hag. She said on her blog that wota are bad people. What was surprising was that she followed various homoerotic Korean boy-bands! So it is OK for a bitter, dried-up, middle-aged hag to follow boy idols, but a middle-aged man cannot follow idol groups? Talk about your hag privilege.

Next video — here the girls are in Shibuya — growing up, and heading out on their own. They look very sophisticated and mature in the outfits they wear here.  The music is upbeat, jazzy and sophisticated. Their concerns are that of an adult, but they can still go for a good ice cream sundae.

(Denny’s reverie:) So … it looks like my girls grew up and turned out all right. Soon they will be off to college and living on their own.  I will worry about them, but I really shouldn’t worry about them. They are fine young women now. Pure of heart and of high moral character. If aliens visited Earth and asked me to show them the best part of humanity, I would lead then to that karaoke party with Tsuri Bit. Pretty idols and ice cream.

If you want to learn more about this idol group, the official Tsuri Bit website (in Japanese) is linked hereA great fan site IN ENGLISH is linked here. The site has a lot of useful statistical information about the girls — including which species of fish they would most want to catch. 

Starlight: A thousand days of happy.  Traveling at the speed of light, Tsuri Bit’s earliest broadcasts should now be nearing the Centauri system.

Imagine the alien boys living on a planetoid which orbits Beta Centauri. They are monitoring signals from space … and then receive this devastating cuteness:

Here is how I imagine the conversation.

Alien Boy 1: “Beezit — wabba wabba zoop beena beena!”

Alien Boy 2 “Shazzbat!!! wabba wabba zoop beena beena — hoo HOO!”

Kimonos on Monday: Iwasa Misaki at Shin-Kabukiza Theater

It seems light years since I made a post to my “Kimonos on Monday” series. It has also been a long time since I posted anything about the lovely and talented Miss Iwasa Misaki. It’s been a long time since I rock-and-rolled. Ahem. Excuse me …

Unlike me, the ex-AKB48 Idol turned Enka-singer has kept busy performing concerts, releasing new singles, albums and concert Blu-Rays. Yes I own both concert disks!

Wasamin posts a lot of her glamorous kimono photos on her Instagram page (linked here) and her Twitter site (linked here). I thought that this photo was particularly interesting. Is it a kimono or a costume? Ms. Misaki contributed to a show at the Shin-Kabukiza Theater in Osaka last month. Even though Misaki-san usually wears a stunning kimono for her Enka-music concerts, I would have to classify this kimono as a “costume” for the show.

Wasamin is wearing a WIG in case you could not tell. I wonder if she would ever style her real hair in that traditional way for a special concert.

Wasamin next to a promotion for her latest record release.

“Say Hello to my little friend!”

(Denny’s Readers groan …)

I love both the traditional and popular culture of Japan. Despite that, I could never really get too interested in Kabuki. I’ve seen some Kabuki Theater on YT videos, but I have to admit, I can’t watch for very long. The art and costumes are great of course … but I can’t really understand it. I would certainly enjoy a show if it featured Wasamin though!

The official website for the Osaka’s Shin-Kabukiza Theater is linked here: https://www.osakastation.com/osaka-shin-kabukiza-theater/

Although I do not have video of Wasamin at the SK Theater, here are some recent TV performances: How long will YT leave then up?

Starlight: What, where did they go?

Pokémon Nicknames: Wishiwashi

Wishiwashi (in Japanese: ヨワシ  “Yowashi”) is a Water-type Pokémon introduced in Pokémon Sun and Moon’s Alola Region (Generation VII). This Pokémon does not evolve, but it can change forms with its “Schooling Ability” — — if it has reached level 20. (Source: Bulbapedia)

One would have to agree that the sad-eyed fish is much more intimidating in the schooling form. However, if its HP is lowered to less than half during battle, it will revert to its regular form.

Wishiwashi is a small fish. I have used names like “Minnow-Soda” (after Minnesota) or “SS Minnow” (after the boat in Gilligan’s Island).

Healthy people eat a lot of fish, thus food or “diner” type names could be used. ChickenOfSea” after the popular brand of tuna.  “Starkist” is another tuna name.SorryCharlie” would work because of Wishiwashi’s sad face. Perhaps Wishiwashi is related to sardines — thus “Sardinia” after the Italian island. Name a female Wishiwashi “AuntChovey” after anchovies, which are part of a good anti-pasta. “Baccala”  is Italian salted cod — and the name of a Sopranos character.  I think he ended up swimming with the fishes. Of course don’t forget “Tartar“. Actually I eat very little fish these days. Fish is not fish to me unless it is breaded, deep fried and covered with cheddar and tartar sauce.

Wishiwashi looks like some type of smelt, so names like “Smelts” or “Smelt+Dealt” come to mind. The phrase whoever-smelt-it-dealt it” was common on my middle school bus. You could name one “Smells Fishy” and the like. It is always a hoot to give your fish a funny name, then send it out over the Wondertrade — “Denny sent over A-Fishy-Smell … take good care of A-Fishy-Smell”. Ha. That would be hilarious. It reminds me of the famous quotation about smelts:

“There are only two things that smell like fish … and one of them is fish.” 

One of my favorite fish names has always been “Odoroyo Fish” the GREAT 1980s cover song updated by the Japanese idol group Tsuri Bit. Previously, I had only named Barboach/Whiscash “Odoroyo”. Here is a coincidence:  I used to name Whiscash “WishyWashy” because of the “W” on its head — but that is another story.

Another fun fish name is “Mr. Limpett” after “The Incredible Mr. Limpett” movie. I loved all of Don Knotts‘ movies when I was a kid. For more nostalgia you could name a Wishiwashi “SplishSplash” after the Bobby Darin song.

1Fish 2Fish” is after the Dr. Suess’ children’s book “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish”. Of course Wishiwashi is blue, but if you name it “Blue Fish” most would not make the connection. Other bookish or “school of fish” type names are appropriate: “Schools Out” after the great Alice Cooper song … or “Back2School” after the Rodney Dangerfield film. Do you what is scary to a middle school student? These “Back to school” ads you see in print ads in JULY! It is like they are mocking the kids that school will start in just a few weeks.

Because of Wishiwashi’s sad looking face, I thought of “My-Sad-Clown“. Also Wishiwashi’s frown reminds me of actor Sean Penn’s grin. Penn, (perhaps the stupidest person on the face of the Earth, — unless you count Russell Brand) often makes that frowny-face of disgust in his movies.

Looks like Droopy does not like what is on the seafood menu …

I named the first Wishiwashi that I caught “Droopy” because of its drooping eyes. That Pokémon is one drooping, flaccid fish. That led me to “LakeFlaccid” as a play on the movie named “Lake Placid”. Droopy looks like he could use some Cialis. “Viagra Falls” is a related name, based on the famous Niagara Falls.

There is a phrase often repeated by feminists that goes “A woman needs a man … like a fish needs a bicycle.”

I strongly disagree with that view. Jewish author Dennis Prager’s has said (and I paraphrase) that men and women need each other. I agree with that. Certainly a man does not feel complete without the love of a good woman. A woman needs a man just the same. It is true that living alone would be better than getting into a bad relationship. However, to say that men and women do not need each other is … well … STUPID.

Will this fish end up old, alone and bitter?

Readers: I apologize for the lack of Pokémon cosplay photos for this post. It seems Wishiwashi is just too new for Pokémon otaku to have created full Wishiwashi costumes yet. All I could find were these fish-patterned panties. Sorry.

Forget the bike, sweetie I just took something to put me in “schooling form” all weekend!

What is your favorite fish name? Please comment!

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